The last text approved on Feb. 5, the “Basic order of serving in the Church,” appeals for reform of employment laws in the local Catholic Church, which is the second-largest employer after the state in Germany. It passed its first reading by 181 votes to 13, with 11 abstentions.
Archbishop Nikola Eterović, the apostolic nuncio to Germany, addressed the assembly on Saturday.
He said: “The pope often speaks of synodality and the positive aspects associated with it, but equally encourages avoiding a false understanding and errors.”
“As characteristic aspects of synodality, the Bishop of Rome mentions above all: synodality is a gift of the Holy Spirit; it is the way towards an ecclesial community whose task is mission, the evangelization of the world today; the synodal Church requires the participation of all, albeit at different levels.”
“At the same time, Pope Francis warns against parliamentarism, formalism, intellectualism, and clericalism.”
The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s declared in March 2021 that the Church does not have the power to bless same-sex unions.
The Vatican statement, issued with the approval of Pope Francis, sparked protests in the German-speaking Catholic world.
Several bishops expressed support for blessings of same-sex couples, while churches displayed LGBT pride flags, and a group of more than 200 theology professors signed a statement criticizing the Vatican.
Priests and pastoral workers across Germany held a day of protest last May during which they conducted blessing ceremonies attended by same-sex couples.
The next Synodal Assembly will take place in Frankfurt on Sept. 8-10. The Synodal Way is expected to end in spring 2023, ahead of the Synod on Synodality in Rome in October next year.
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